EXCLUSIVE: Laura Dern is in talks to co-star in director Justin Kelly’s biopic JT Leroy, the true story behind writer Laura Albert’s made-up literary persona JT Leroy. If the deal closes, Dern will be joining Kristen Stewart, who was attached to the project early on.

Kelly wrote the screenplay, which is based on Savannah Knoop’s book Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy. Knoop spent six years pretending to be the enigmatic author JT Leroy, who identified as transgender. In 2006, The New York Times stunned the literary world when it unmasked the truth that Leroy didn’t exist.

We hear Dern is circling the role of Albert, who also posed as the made-up JT’s friend “Speedie.”

Author: The JT LeRoy Story, a documentary about Albert’s Leroy creation, debuted at Sundance last year and was subsequently picked up by Amazon and released via distribution partner Magnolia Pictures.

Dern currently stars in the HBO mini-series Little Big Lies and can next be seen opposite Woody Harrelson in the Fox Searchlight comedy Wilson, out March 24. Repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment, she’ll also be seen in Disney’s highly anticipated sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi.